The Coach reboot, planned for a 13-episode run at NBC, has been canceled, according to Deadline.
If you are a fan of the original show, this news will either make you extremely happy or extremely sad, as will the next part of it: the show could live on elsewhere.
Earlier in 2015, it was announced that the original series star, Craig T. Nelson, would line this up as his next project following a heartbreaking turn on Parenthood.
Many fans were encouraged to see Nelson going for straight laughs again in a multi-camera sitcom. All the ingredients appeared to be there for another classic.
Nelson’s Coach Hayden Fox was coming out of retirement to help his son launch a football program at an Ivy League school.
Old favorites like Bill Fagerbakke (Dauber) and Pam Stone (female coach and rival Judy Watkins) were rumored (via TVLine) to be on board, as was Jerry Van Dyke (Assistant Coach Luther Van Dam) in guest spots.
There was even a new Hayden-Judy feud storyline — one of the best parts of the original series — as Hayden found himself continually jealous of the Dybinski’s 4-year-old daughter, Addison, as she possessed many of the athletic abilities that he wanted for his grandson, Cody.
Last but not least, there were new talents like Andrew Ridings (as Fox’s son Tim) to look forward to, while original creator, Barry Kemp, had signed on to helm.
But things started taking a turn for the worst when it was revealed that Christine Armstrong-Fox, the love of Hayden’s life, would be written out of the series as having died.
Shelly Fabares, who played the role in the show’s original nine-season run, was reportedly experiencing too many health issues to continue, and rather than recast the part, Kemp opted to make Hayden a widower, a decision that didn’t sit well with many fans, who were drawn to the original series’ fun, escapist qualities.
Hayden was madly in love with Christine and it showed in the pair’s on-screen chemistry. It would be impossible to do a Coach reboot without obligatory scenes of Hayden struggling with grief, and while the original series would sometimes tackle serious topics, this decision was a doozy for fans to accept from a show that elicited so much laughter over the years.
While the Coach reboot is down, however, it’s definitely not out. Coach has remained a popular catalog title for Netflix for several years, and since the streaming giant is now into original content — and bringing back shows like Full House — it would be a no-brainer for the Coach reboot, as would TV Land.
A pilot has already been shot, but the remaining 12 episodes are still technically in development until another content provider bites.
What do you think about a Coach reboot, readers? Great idea or let it die?
[Image via NBC c/o Variety]